TULUMBA (FRIED PASTRY WITH SYRUP)
2 tablespoons melted margarine
1 glass flour
3 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 glasses olive oil
Syrup: 2 glasses sugar
1 3/4 glasses water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Put the sugar, water and lemon juice into a saucepan, melting the sugar by stirring. Allow it to boil until moderately thick. Set aside to cool.
Heat the margarine in a saucepan, add the water and salt and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and add the flour all at once. Stir the mixture constantly with a wooden spool and continue until mixture leaves the sides of the pan and forms a ball. This should take 6 minutes, then remove pan from heat and set aside to cool. After coolin add the eggs and knead for approximately 10 minutes. Using a pastry bag with a large nozzle put 7-8 pastries in a pan containing the heated olive oil. Start frying the pastry over low heat, increase heat when pastry puffs up a bit and fry until golden. Remove fried pastry with a perforated spoon, draining away the oil, then put into the syrup. Strain off the syrup, place Tulumba on serving plate and serve cool.
QOFTE TE FERGUARA (ALBANIAN FRIED MEATBALLS)
1 lb ground meat
1 slice stale bread
1 small onion, finely-grated
2 tablespoons chopped Feta cheese
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
2 tablespoons oil or melted butter
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 cup flour
1 cup oil (olive oil recommended
Soak bread in water and squeeze hard to drain. Add ground meat, bread crumbs, oil or melted butter, onion, parsley, salt, pepper, and mint. Mix thoroughly, and form into 1-inch thick patties, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and oregano. Roll in flour and fry in hot oil. Serve hot with French Fries or mashed potatoes.
TAVE KOSI (LAMB AND YOUGURT)
An Albanian classic, this hearty winter dish of baked lamb, yogurt and rice is perfect served with a cold, crisp salad. This recipe is rich in flavor! Tave Kosi is the mac-n-cheese of the U.S.- Albania’s comfort food. Its origins are Elbasan, a town about 1.5 hours drive south-east of the capital of Tirana.
1-1/2 lbs lamb
4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
2 tablespoons rice
For Yogurt sauce:
1 tablespoon flour
4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
2 lbs. yogurt
Cut meat in 4 serving pieces, sprinkle each piece with salt and pepper, and bake in a moderately-heated oven with half the butter, sprinkling the meat with its gravy now and then. When meat is half-baked, add rice; remove the baking pan from the oven and leave it aside while you prepare the yogurt sauce.
Sauté flour in butter until mixed thoroughly. Mix yogurt with salt, pepper and eggs until a uniform mixture is obtained, and finally stir in the flour. Put the sauce mixture in the baking pan; sauté it with the meat pieces and bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes. Serve hot.
This dish was a favorite of my fathers’. Whenever he had visitors he would ask me to make him some Meze for his guests. It is a very important part of Albanian hospitality, it shows the guests that they are part of the family and allows them to relax and enjoy the friendship that has been extended to them.
Meze refers to small collection of various dishes served prior to an Albanian dinner, much like appetizers. The name of the dish is derived from the Greek word Mezze, which was inspired by Turkish word meze, which was again inspired by Persian word Maze. This word meze can be referred to something which can be relished, smacked, flavored and tasted. The meanings indicate that the dish is usually associated with exotic tastes of the land where they are enjoyed. The meze recipes may vary as per the personal choices.The popular meze recipes and dishes of Albania may include salami, brined cheese, and prosciutto ham, which are normally teamed with green olives, bell peppers and hard boiled eggs. The collective dishes of this genre are normally served to fulfill two purposes: enhancing the flavor of drinks, and to kick start a social gathering. Normally this genre of collective foods derives their body and form from the social scenario where it is served. Usually the meze is served in small bowls, and is shared by everyone sitting across the table. These dishes not only deliver variety of tastes but also generate the feeling of convivial and happy atmosphere. Meze is traditionally served with Raki or Ouzo..
YOUGURT AND CUCUMBER SOUP (TARATOR)
Chilled yogurt and cucumber soup (tarator).
Tarator, a chilled yogurt and cucumber soup, superb for hot summer days, can also be used as a dip for seafood or a pour-over sauce for cauliflower, etc. (serves 5)
2 Cucumbers, peeled and grated
1 Garlic Clove, peeled and crushed
2 LG cartons of Greek Style yougurt
1/2 cup water (optional)
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp dill, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
Chopped walnuts (optional
Directions: Mix the crushed garlic and salt together and add to the grated cucumber. Put the yogurt in a large bowl and mix in the cucumber mixture. Depending upon the consistency and flavour of the yogurt you may wish to optionally thin-down the yogurt with the water. Taste and adjust seasoning. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with chopped dill and the crushed walnuts if using. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving. Yummy!!!.
BYREK (BUREK) with SPINACH
Byrek (also called Börek, burek, or lakror) is a family of baked or fried filled pastries made of a thin flaky dough known as yufka (or phyllo). Börek is also very popular in the cuisines of Balkans, especially in North Africa and throughout the former Ottoman Empire. In Tirana, the most common fillings include a mixture of cheese, eggs and spinach, but it can also include meat, or a sweet filling of pumpkin. It is traditionally made with several layers of dough that has been thinly rolled out by hand. The final form can either be individual triangles of byrek, especially from street vendors, or one large byrek that is cut into smaller pieces. Byrek is traditional to southern Albania but is made throughout the country with variations.
1 cup oil, preferably olive oil
1½ packets (or about 30) pastry leaves (filo dough)
1½ pounds spinach, chopped
1 cup diced feta cheese
½ cup chopped green onions
salt, half teaspoon
Directions: Preheat oven to 350°F Brush the baking pan with some of the oil, and start laying the pastry leaves inside. First, lay two leaves, sprinkle or brush with oil, then lay two other leaves, and repeat the procedure until half of the leaves are laid. Make sure that they cover the pan by hanging them about one inch over the edges of the pan. Sprinkle spinach with salt, then mix well by hand. Add the feta cheese, oil, onions, eggs and salt, and spread this mixture over the already laid pastry leaves. Finish by covering the spinach with the rest of the pastry leaves repeating the first-half procedure and then roll the hanging edges of the bottom leaves over the pie (think of a pizza crust), sprinkle top with oil and bake moderately at 350°F for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve hot, accompanied with buttermilk, or beaten yogurt, thinned down in cold water or with chilled stewed prunes. Sometimes a green salad adds to the meal!